It can be difficult to figure out exactly for what a game is aiming. Such monster games seem to be all about player experience. Others seem to prioritize an artistic statement over everything else. There are still others, though, that just seem to be a channel for microtransactions. They put a few basic systems in place, add in a couple of money and time sinks, and then hope that players won’t realize the game they’re playing doesn’t really deserve the money they’re asked to spend. If ever there was a good example of this type of game, it is Smash City Monster Battles.
The Smash City Monster Battles game’s a clear riff on the Pokemon monster-fighting genre. You don’t go out and catch your monsters, of course, but rather you hatch them from eggs. Then, you put them up against one another in turn-based battles. There’s a bit of complexity in that certain monster types are strong against other monsters, but the bulk of the game really seems to be about figuring out when to use certain moves. There’s not really anything else here to distract you from the core of the game, with most of the fun coming from hatching new monsters as you progress.
The bad stuff is, unfortunately, really bad. Graphically, the game is a mess. It’s probably an art choice, but the retro style just looks clunky and horrible. This is not helped by the speed of the game, which ranges between agonizingly slow and complete time stoppage. The combat itself is overly simplistic and boring, which would be a problem even if that wasn’t the whole of the game. In short, the game doesn’t manage to do anything particularly well. It does, however, manage to bring in something of a negative competency level by trying to get players to spend money on this slapped-together Smash City Monster Battles game.
It’s really hard to recommend this game to anyone. There are a few things that it does well, but it doesn’t do any of it well enough to overcome the game’s shortcomings. There’s nothing here that isn’t done elsewhere better, but there are a few things that this game does worse than almost anyone else. This is a game to stay away from unless you absolutely need to play a monster-fighting game and have no other alternatives. The bar for free games is usually fairly low, but this one manages to sink far under that level without really trying.